Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/21/12

Running back Peyton Hillis finally hit the field with his new teammates as the Chiefs opened this week's OTA sessions.

After a disappointing and injury-plagued 2011 season in Cleveland, Hillis is being counted on along with Jamaal Charles coming off knee surgery to lead Kansas City's ground game.

"It was really the first time for full-team activity and guys were working together and stuff like that. It was good, good to get back into the groove of things, not just coming in and working out, but actually getting some football in," Hillis said Monday. "We really enjoyed it and I think it was another step forward and we'll keep going from here."

The offseason program is especially important for teams like the Chiefs, who have a new offensive coordinator in Brian Daboll.

"I think we get a lot out of these OTAs," quarterback Matt Cassel said. "I think every day that we can be out here together as a unit, as a group, build that camaraderie and continue to tone our skills and work together is going to be a step in the right direction. These OTAs are pivotal for us, especially being that it's a new offense, new offensive terminology and scheme, and just try to get better each and every day."

Cassel said there are subtle changes to the offense that the team has studied in the film room but finally has a chance to work through on the field.

"There's some similarities, but it's definitely a different offense, so for us, we just have to continue to work hard," he said. "It is going to be a process, so we can't get frustrated with the facts, some days are going to be better than others, but at the same time, I think as long as we keep getting better each and every day, we'll become a good offense."

For right tackle Eric Winston, one of the team's big offseason signings from the Houston Texans where he was in a zone-blocking scheme, the changes are far more than just the subtle variety.

"With this system, everyone's got to be together, everyone's got to be working together and not just working, but communicating and things like that," Winston said. "It's a big change obviously for everybody. It's going to be tough, there are going to be some tough days ahead and I think you have to prepare for that.

"I think the thing is, I think we have the right personnel, we have the right coaches and we have the right scheme to be successful. I think we just have to keep pushing and keeping moving towards that goal and have to just work through that part as we go."

--Free safety Kendrick Lewis is making good progress from surgery on the labrum in his right shoulder, although he hasn't been cleared for contact. "I'm just playing it by ear, waiting it out," he said. "Everything is going smooth, according to plan, so whenever they're ready to release me, that's when I'll be back."

--Dexter McCluster is back at slot receiver after serving as a change-of-pace running back last season. "It felt great. I'm learning everything I can learn," he said. "That's the best thing about this sport, you learn as much as you can so whenever you're asked to do something, you know what to do."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a little different for me, for the first time in like seven years, I'm just walking around saying 'Hi, I'm Stanford,' introducing myself to people and asking people 'where's this room and where's that room?' It's going pretty good. Everybody's been real helpful and it's helping my transition a whole lot." - Cornerback Stanford Routt, who spent his first seven NFL seasons with the division-rival Raiders.

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